SIGMA Cine Lens Factory Tour (PDF)


Aizu is 300 km north of Tokyo: two hours by high speed Shinkansen and then a scenic hour on a local railway. The train winds through high mountain passes and follows the foot of 5,968’ high Mt. Bandai. Skiing in winter is superb, as are the soba noodles and sake from the many Aizu breweries that benefit from the pristine mountain……

Tags: , ,

ARRI SkyPanel Software Update


At NAB, ARRI showed the latest software update to the LED SkyPanels. There are  10 new features. The control panel  now shows a gel filter library. You can select a color with a familiar Rosco or Lee filter name or number. The library is organized into familiar categories: color corrections, Storaro selection, Rosco Calcolor, Cinelux, Lee Color Correct, Lee Cosmetic Series, etc. The SkyPanel color “engine”  generates the colors, but instead of having to define RGBW values, you can now pick colors by their popular and familiar names. This is much easier. Watch the video in this post. read more…


Wooden Camera’s New Unified Baseplate System


NAB Video for FDTimes by George Leon


Cannot Destroy a Rosco LitePad Vector


Frank Lambrechts, Visual Content Manager at Rosco and his crew in Belgium attempt to destroy a Rosco LitePad Vector in this terrific equipment video: Terminator meets Good, Bad and the Ugly meets Next Level. read more…


Easyrig Vario 5 Strong


  Johan Hellsten demonstrates his new Easyrig Vario 5 Strong for camera payloads of 30 – 55 lb. A year ago at NAB, Johan presented Vario 5, an adjustable version of his wildly popular Easyrig. For the past year, he and his crew in Northern Sweden have been busy working on a new, heavier payload model. At NAB 2016, they introduced the Vario…… continue reading >


ARRI Artemis Trinity Stabilizer/Gimbal Video


Video of ARRI Artemis Trinity: a rig combining Maxima gimbal and body stabilizer. Curt Schaller, BVK, camera operator turned inventor-designer of artemis has taken the product line to its new home at ARRI. read more…


Visiting Vitec’s OConnor Factory in Costa Rica (PDF)


“How would you like to build an OConnor 2575D?” Steve Turner  asked. Being the consummate geek, I immediately accepted. “Meet your professors,” John Hill said as he introduced me to the grinning OConnor assembly group. Were they smiling because this was a crazy idea? Would I manage to emerge unscathed, with all fingers and toes intact? Could I actually help build a finished fluid head from the 635  parts arranged in bins to our left—with names like Sector Drag Assembly and Upper Wiffletree Bearing? Download our 22-page PDF Report of the Factory Visit to Vitec Videocom Costa Rica. read more…

Tags: , , ,

Camerimage 2015


Article by Jan Grobliński. EXT. BYDGOSZCZ – EVENING Chilly. Dark figures in the background of the illuminated entrance to the Opera Nova. Evening fog and steam. Lively conversations in different languages, accidental meetings of old acquaintances, world-famous cinematographers passing by, a group of students hurrying to watch a film in the Main Competition… That could be a scene from a…… continue reading >

Tags: ,

ZEISS Factory Tour 2015 (PDF)


ZEISS Factory Tour 2015, Museum of Optics, Interviews, Lenses. 7 MB PDF Free Download. Newly updated September 2015. This is a free online PDF reprint from FDTimes September 2015 Edition along with back issues. 50 pages. read more…

Tags: ,

ARRI Alexa Mini Factory Visit

The Alexa Mini Wild Bunch: David Bermbach, Project Manager; Christian Hartl, Head of Camera Assembly; Walter Trauninger, Managing Director of ARRI Cine Technik; Martin Höcht, Head of Procurement; Michael Jonas, Product Manager.

I visited ARRI in Munich this May to get a first-hand look at assembly of the Alexa Mini. This is a reprint from the report in FDTimes Issue 70 — June 2015. read more…

Tags: , ,

Canon HDR Monitors

DP-V2410 4K Reference Display

At NAB, Canon showed a prototype HDR 4K monitor. That led to some questions for Mr. Shinichi Yamato, head of the Display Product Business Unit of Canon Inc, Japan, and Mr. Hitoshi Doi, Future Product & Solution Group at Canon U.S.A. read more…

Tags: , , ,

Steadicam M-1, Steadicam 40th Anniversary, Cartoni 80th Anniversary

Steadicam M-1

Tiffen introduced the new Steadicam M-1. Its modular, ultra-rigid design and innovative features make it the most hotly anticipated “big rig” in decades. AT NAB, Steadicam celebrated their 40th Anniversary and Cartoni celebrated their 80th Anniversary. read more…

Tags: , , ,

Dan May, BMD Pres, on URSA Mini and more

Dan May, President of Blackmagic Design.

It’s always good to spend time with Dan May at NAB for an interesting guided tour. He puts things in perspective and explains not only the what and how of new equipment, but why. read more…

Tags: , , , ,

Hawk65 from Vantage Film


On February 9, 2015, Vantage Film announced three new sets of lenses for 65mm format. Since then, other products and pieces of the puzzle have come together. RED introduced the RED Weapon 8K camera, with its 21.60 x 40.96 mm sensor at NAB. ARRI announced an alliance of Alexa 65 with IMAX. I met with Peter Martin in Los Angeles. Peter is CEO of Vantage Film and leads technical development along with CEO Wolfgang Baumler.

  read more…

Tags: , , ,

Cooke 65 mm Macro Anamorphic /i 2x Prime


Here’s the lens that many cinematographers have been waiting for from Cooke. Cooke introduces their new 65 mm Macro Anamorphic /i 2x Prime lens at Cine Gear. It has a close-up magnification ratio of 4.1:1. read more…

Tags: , , , ,

Canon’s Mr. Maeda alludes to future technology

Masaya Maeda, Managing Director & Chief Executive of Image Communication Products at Canon.

“Lunch with the FT” is a weekly column in the Financial Times. Their weekly interview with a leading cultural or business luminary was something we have been doing—but to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, “It’s dinner one wants, not lunch.” It was therefore a pleasant surprise to receive an email from Mr. Hitoshi Doi, head of the Future Product & Solution Group at Canon U.S.A. “Jon,” he wrote, “Can you slip away for a couple of hours during NAB to have lunch with Mr. Maeda and me?” Mr. Masaya Maeda is Managing Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations at Canon. read more…

Tags: , , , ,

All About Dolly Track

Wick Hempleman. Photo: Daniela Guelden.

Dolly track is a long story. When you go back far enough in history there’s a classic division between European and American track dimensions. Most of the European track was 1¼ inch diameter, and most of the American manufactured track was 1½ inch diameter. At some point during the mid ’70s and early ’80s, there was a realization that this really had to be standardized. We’ve all kind of moved to the 1½ inch diameter for the rails. Along with this, we started having all sorts of problems with rails bending, which plainly and simply was a function of moving from simply using dollies to using small manned cranes, to using larger manned cranes, to using very large manned cranes and enormous unmanned cranes. And then there’s the question of aluminum or steel. read more…

Tags: , ,

Gavin Finney BSC, “Wolf Hall,” candlelit, Leica Summilux-C T1.4, Alexa, Handheld


“Wolf Hall” is a series on BBC and PBS Masterpiece Theatre about Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), a blacksmith’s son who rose to power as chief minister to King Henry VIII. Gavin Finney, BSC was the cinematographer. read more…

Tags: , , , ,

Fujifilm IS-Mini


The Fujifilm IS-Mini is a complete color management and monitor profiling system. It’s a small hardware box and comes with free software. It’s inexpensive and is an essential tool for DITs and post houses. The color science behind it is very sophisticated. You can use IS-Mini to create a LUT or CDL for the DP on set; and, if you have multiple monitors on set, you can attach a separate IS-Mini to each monitor. read more…

Tags: , ,

Panasonic VariCam 35 Factory Tour (PDF)


In January 2012, Panasonic’s professional video factory moved to Okayama, 180 km (111 miles) west of Osaka. The picture above was composited from portraits of every employee. At Okayama, the entire manufacturing process from parts mounting to final assembly takes place on a single floor. This layout improves logistics and speeds production. The new factory has gigantic clean rooms for assembly of optical units in the cameras. Panasonic controls the entire process—making everything from the sensors and optical assemblies to the circuit boards, mechanical parts, housings, and components. read more…

Tags: ,